On the topic of driving and migraines. And whether we are liable if in an accident with an untreated migraine or treated migraines.
Yep, always a concern for the chronic migraine sufferer. I admit it is extremely difficult to work with chronic migraines. We all know migraines can make us incapable of doing anything, but we also know that treated migraines, or half treated migraines, or mild migraines or silent migraines… are an entirely different story. We are expected to function with these.
Expected to because no one says we can’t and does not offer us any better solution, so we do the best we can. Likewise, with a full-blown migraine, driving is impossible, but in those other cases not impossible, but obviously affected. For example, my most predominate visual aura is visual snow, and it is always there, but sometimes more extreme… so I see billions of little sparks of light zigzagging, flashing and darting around in my field of vision and it makes everything rather like a Monet painting and distorted. To drive at all, I need to wear sunglasses, as this dims the visual snow. Other most obscuring auras can be worse. That is just on the purely visual side of things.
Pain, of course, is a distraction, but pain is something I have to deal with all the time, you can’t rightly say I cannot in one situation and expect me to in other situations. The migraine fog through is the worst…
My response to the forum topic on this is:
I agree we should not drive when having a migraine. However, as I get migraines all the time, it would be hard not to when I have to get to work. I also consider myself impaired at work, but I still go. The fact is that if I am considered impaired by a migraine or migraine treatment, which I am, and therefore should not drive, then it only seems logical that if I have chronic migraines I am impaired most of the time.
Yet, it is difficult to get leave from work, or get full disability for migraines, when it seems people do not consider it to be all that serious. If it is not considered a serious disability, with serious impairments, then I myself will try to ‘get through’ things when the migraine is not killer, or I am taking a treatment for it. If it becomes a habit for me to try and function through the pain, the sensory problems, and the migraine mental fog, then it would not be any different for me to drive under such conditions.
I have had doctors in the past say I could not do certain jobs, but no doctor has said I cannot work, which implies that I should be able to work. If they considering me capable of functioning at a job, any job, then they cannot rightly say I am incapable of driving. I would disagree, but since my vote does not always count, and I need some sort of income, I do work and therefore I also drive. Alternative systems to get to work, like buses are not available here. I likely would not do so if there was alternative transportation where I live because driving is not pleasant even with the mildest of migraines. There is some faulty reasoning if the law says you cannot drive with a migraine or a migraine treatment but are somehow capable of working a full-time job.
It seems since driving could potentially affect other people that people make a point of it, not when things affect the person actually suffering from migraines. Still, I do agree that I should not drive most of the time and I know very well it affects my driving. The fact is, no one has ever made a point of it except me. Ironically, when I have taken a triptan and am driving I am way less impaired than if I am driving with even the mildest of migraines. Again, no doctor has said any of my medications would prevent me from driving. A further irony is that my mother is taking painkillers while waiting for a surgery, and her doctor said she could not drive nor work while taking those painkillers… and I take stronger painkillers, triptans, preventatives on a regular basis but am essentially expected to carry on as normal. So that is exactly what I try to do.
And that is what happens when you have chronic pain. You are expected to fit into the system and they do not care if you can’t.